There but for the grace of God…?

Over the last two days, PL’s phone has been beeping with group messages from her colleagues sharing the latest news (“gossip” sounds so… housewif-ish!) about a colleague who has been arrested for murdering her husband.

As details emerged – She’s 26. he’s 33, married for about 2 years, there’s a 14-mth-old daughter – it just got sadder.

Today (Wed, 2 Sep), in the papers, the Pope has delegated authority to all priests to forgive abortion during Holy Year Jubilee celebration which occurs once every 25 years, and will start on Dec 8. Normally, only an Archbishop and above can forgive the sin of abortion.

When PL & I discussed our colleague (no, I don’t actually know her, have never met her, and PL only had some transactions with her), we wondered if she might be having post-natal depression. (PL checked and found Post-Natal Depression could set in 3 years (or longer) after birth of child.)

PL’s colleagues however, wondered if he might have been having an affair. The colloquial phrase was, he must have been having “a woman outside.”

I told PL, “if I ever have any women, they will have to be outside, because you won’t let them in.”

And that’s when PL stabbed me. (No. Not literally. She stabbed me with her glare, figuratively.)

Another friend message me to ask if I knew or had worked with this colleague. Apparently, the Chinese-language press describe the colleague as holding onto her 14-month-old daughter with one arm, while stabbing the husband with the other. Which would be quite a feat considering the colleague was described as “small”, “petite”, and “skinny” even. While the husband was 1.75 m and well-built. There is no description of the daughter, but my 9-month old is more than 8 kg now and I can throw out my back carrying her.

Anyway, my friend said the description of the attack (child in one arm, knife in the other) reminded her of Dexter, and asked if I had the last few seasons on DVD.

The news also reported that she was described as quiet. It is always the quiet ones, isn’t it?

“Hey!” I said to PL, “You’re quiet too!”

And that’s when PL stabbed me.

“And small!”

PL stabbed me, again.

“And we’re married just over two years!”

PL stabbed me, again.

“Ok. Ok. You’re NOT 26!”

PL stabbed me, anyway.

“What? I said you’re not like her!”

She stabbed me.

“Are you having post-natal depression?”

She – ad infinitum

I’m not usually one to be easily affected by the troubles of others. But I do not know if it is the fact that there is a 14 month old girl involved, or a young couple recently married (not the same as a middle-aged couple recently married right? *stab* *stab*), or a couple apparently with their future ahead of them.

I can see (and imagine) how much PL loves Z and I know how much I love Z and PL. And if that couple loved their daughter as much as we do ours, and they mean as much to their daughter as we think we do to Z, it is really heart-breaking.

How does one grow up knowing one’s mom killed dad?

Perhaps at 14 months, she won’t remember. Or maybe the memory will be visceral and end up suppressed and latent.

And how does one go on after killing the father of one’s daughter.

How does one decide that murder is the answer, as my friend wondered. He believes that there must be a traumatic trigger.

I wonder if it might just be post-natal depression.

Which is both satisfying and unsatisfying as an answer. Satisfying because the answer to an insane situation is… “temporary insanity”.

Unsatisfying because it means that it could happen to the best of us. Or the worst.

This is a tragedy. For the baby. For the mother who was also a wife, who is now a widow by her own hand, and who have left her child fatherless, and depending on how the law deals with her, may leave her child motherless as well. And that would be a second tragedy for the child.

“An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave the world blind and toothless.”

A life for a life will leave this child an orphan.

Justice? Or Forgiveness.

I do not know why she killed her husband. I only know the child now does not have a father. As a father, I find that heartbreakingly sad.

Will she also lose her mother?

That would be beyond sad.

[Another time I was a softie, when Fowl Language comic artist asked for help.]

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